Schram City Village Board Remembers Long-Time Village Employee

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A moment of silence was held for long-time village employee, Robert “Bob” Hefley, as members of the Schram City Village Board gathered for their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, Dec. 14.

According to Village President Albert Oberle, Hefley, who passed away on Nov. 19,  served the village for over 37 years until his retirement in March 2018. Oberle also took a brief moment to share a few fond memories of his time working alongside Hefley, including a late night water leak, which took village workers and Oberle until 5 a.m. Christmas morning to fix during freezing weather.

“Bob was the eyes, ears and the face of the village for over 37 years. He knew this village inside and out, and it was his life,” said Oberle. “I continue to give my thoughts and prayers to his family.”

Following the board’s decision to install alarm systems on the Munchler and Big 4 lift stations for half the cost, they will review a one-year contract from Mac’s Fire and Safety, Inc. of Litchfield at next month’s meeting.

As part of the Veterans Memorial update, Oberle said he is still working with Wayne Jansen of Jansen’s Monuments on prices for stone and the design. If residents wish to donate to the memorial, they can make checks payable to the Village of Schram City and place it in the drop box. Donors are asked to specify what the donation is for in the memo section.

In grant news, the village president advised that the new diesel truck has been ordered as part of the USDA grant the village was awarded; however, they have not received a delivery date. Oberle also said no decisions regarding loans and grant requests will be made until the end of this year or beginning of 2021. 

In addition, the village will apply for the BIG program, which is funded with money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funds derived from the program are to provide aid to businesses to offset expenses or losses related to COVID-19.

A motion to amend the indoor music ordinance, which was passed last month, was made to extend the curfew to 1 a.m. for New Year’s Eve. According to Oberle, the special request was made by a business owner. 

During the treasurer’s report, members of the board noted that the sewer fund has improved with Oberle commending them on a job well done.

“The village has done very well and we’ve been very blessed,” said Oberle.

Village Clerk Janet Stewart reminded the board of the election petition filing period, which ends Monday, Dec. 21. Petitions must be submitted to the county clerk’s office, located on the first floor of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the last day, Dec. 21, office hours will be extended to 5 p.m.

While the village president told the village at last month’s meeting that he would not seek another term, he isn’t certain it’s a definite answer.

“I’m still thinking about things, but if I do happen to file to run again, I want the board and the residents to know that my intention is, at this time, not to be able to fulfill the full four years of the term, because if we are able to sell our home, we are planning on moving,” said Oberle. “With that being said, I was hesitant about re-running and I’m still not sure if I’m going to.”

In other news, Oberle reported that there was a motor issue at the Munchler lift station that they are currently working on. He also said the gentleman who purchased Munchler’s old house is experiencing sewer problems. According to the village president, the property was tied into an old 8 in. sewer line that connected to Hillsboro; however, it was removed and a new line was installed on Railroad Street. At that time, the property was tied into the village’s sewer system. And after the lift station project was completed, the property did not have sewer, but Oberle reported that it is now repaired.

As COVID-19 continues to impact families, Trustee Pat Rhoades suggested continuing waiving late fees for water bills. The board agreed to extend to March.

In a few final notes, Oberle said he signed off on four building permits and that he will continue seeking grants to help with the water line project. Ten more street signs are to be installed, then village workers will move on to other traffic signs.

The next regular monthly meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at the village hall.

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